Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Hockey Night in Fort Wayne

Went to see the local hockey team last night. They lost 2-0, ending a six-game winning streak, but it was still fun and exciting. Sitting near us was a grandmotherly-type hockey fan. All through the game she kept hollering, "C'mon! Hit someone!"
Ya gotta love hockey.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

More Songs

Today one of the local radio stations had a call-in poll about the worst songs. They narrowed it down to three:

Yelling at the Christmas Tree by Billy Idol
Saving Up Christmas by Captain & Tennille
When Santa Claus Met Jesus by Sara Warne

I had not heard them before, but they were all horrendous.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Now For The Good Ones

It wouldn't be Christmas without these Yuletide tunes:

White Christmas by Bing Crosby

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on An Open Fire) by Nat King Cole

Pretty Paper by Willie Nelson (probably doesn't belong on this list, but I like it)

O Holy Night by Martina McBride

Anything by Manheim Steamroller

The Most Annoying Christmas Songs

These songs really get on my nerves. And have you noticed how the radio stations play them constantly?

In no particular order:

Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid
No there won't be snow in Africa, Bob. It's AFRICA! And do we need to be reminded of the 1984 famine, every year?

Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime Paul McCartney

Last Christmas by George Michael

Little Saint Nick by the Beach Boys

I Like the Sleigh Ride (I don't know who wrote or performs this, but it must be McCartney inspired because it just repeats the same five words over & over)

So This is Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon
Ugh. No wonder someone shot you

Step Into Christmas by Elton John

Hey Santa by Carnie & Wendy Wilson

Friday, December 16, 2005

Is Santa a Woman?

I don't know who wrote this, but I thought some of you might enjoy it:


I hate to be the one to defy sacred myth, but I believe he's a she.

Think about it. Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy could possibly pull it all off!

For starters, the vast majority of men don't even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve. It's as if they are all frozen in some kind of Ebenezerian Time Warp until 3 p.m. on Dec. 24th, when they--with amazing calm--call other errant men and plan for a last-minute shopping spree. Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves. (You might think this would send them into a fit of panic and guilt, but my husband tells me it's an enormous relief because it lessens the 11th hour decision-making burden.) On this count alone, I'm convinced Santa is a woman.

Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the bag. Another problem for a he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, there would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted, and strapped on to the rear bumper of the sleigh, amid wide-eyed, desperate claims that buck season had been extended. Blitzen's rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist.Even if the male Santa DID have reindeer, he'd still have transportation problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions.

Add to this the fact that there would be unavoidable delays in the chimney, where the Bob Vila-like Santa would stop to inspect and repoint bricks in the flue. He would also need to check for carbon monoxide fumes in every gas fireplace, and get under every Christmas tree that is crooked to straighten it to a perfectly upright 90-degree angle.

Other reasons why Santa can't possibly be a man:
~ Men can't pack a bag.
~ Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet.
~ Men would feel their masculinity is threatened, having to be seen with all those elves.~ Men don't answer their mail.
~ Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described even in jest as anything remotely resembling a "bowlful of jelly."
~ Men aren't interested in stockings unless somebody's wearing them.
~ Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.

I can buy the fact that other mythical holiday characters are men. Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous. Definite guy. Cupid flies around carrying weapons. Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers. Any one of these individuals could pass the testosterone-screening test. But not St. Nick. Not a chance.

Freezing Friday

Somehow we managed to avoid the 8 inches of snow that was predicted yesterday (can you think of any other job where you can get it wrong as much as the weathermen do, and still stay employed?). But the temps have dropped (low 20's today), so everything is icy now.

Trying to get all my stuff done early so I can help Mrs. Soren today. She's up to her eyeballs baking stuff for tomorrow's Kjergaard Open House. I won't be much help tomorrow morning because I'm speaking at our Men's Prayer Breakfast, then I have to go to the theater to schmooze and propagandize our Narnia guests. Oh, and my folks called and said they were coming over today. I tried the Clark Griswold line, "Honey, they're family. It's not like they're strangers off the street. It'll be fine." Somehow she thinks it's poor form to hand my Dad a dustcloth and show him where the vacuum is. So she's a little stressed. It's what happens when you decide to invite the ENTIRE CHURCH over.

Oh, and the kids are starting to spazz a little because it's the last day of school and the Countdown to Christmas has begun.

We haven't sent any Christmas cards yet. And our out-of-town gifts still need to be sent. And I have no idea what I'm getting her for Christmas (-- and I'm pretty sure that wrapping myself up in a bow isn't gonna do it this year...or any year, come to think of it).

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas Cancellations Revisited

Today I listened to Jon Weece (minister of Southland Christian Church) address his congregation regarding the firestorm of controversy surrounding the decision to have no services on Dec 25 (sermon can be heard here).

I appreciated hearing his side of the story. I still question the wisdom of the decision. But the decision was made, and since I believe strongly in the autonomy of the local church, I believe that it's their decision to make. But I'm still stunned that apparently these guys couldn't predict that there would be an extreme adverse reaction to the decision. However, his message demonstrated the way a good leader handles controversy. The church needed to hear from him. And they heard a humble, reasoned response. I also appreciated the manner in which the church supported its minister with sustained applause, encouragement, and signs of support.

Narnia Mania

The Narnia Movie opened this past weekend. My family is looking forward to seeing it sometime soon.

I just had a mental image of Harry Carey saying, "Narnia? You know Steve, Narnia spelled backwards is Ainran." Weird, huh?

I got this Top Ten list today from Mikey's Funnies. I hope you enjoy it.
By Dave Tippett
10. Narnia City Council votes to remove all images of Aslan, replace them with generic alley cat that represents all felines of world
9. Mega Aslan den draws animal followers from smaller dens with better praise and worship band
8. Metaphors go crazy as Aslan assigns kingdom duties to second in command, a talking rock
7. Sequel set up when, after the victory, Charismatic Aslans clash with Southern Narnia Council Aslans.
6. The movie's original title: "Jesus, Satan, and a Closet"
5. The White Witch wins battle after her ACLU lawyers get injunction against 'lion roaring' in public places
4. Long-haired "Lion King" cast ostracized from Narnia for singing and dancing...and the long hair thing
3. Endless winter in Narnia originally blamed on George Bush
2. Aslan bobbing head dolls wearing little "Pepsi" t-shirts seen in back window of Narnia's mayor's Ford Ranger
1. WWAD? bracelets being sold in town stores
Copyright 2005 Dave Tippett (
Permission is granted to send this to others, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sign of the Week

Taking Christ Out of Christmas

No, it's not the ACLU or the People for the American Way, or any of the usual suspects this time. I am still stunned by the news reports that a number of churches are going to cancel worship services on December 25. These aren't liberal churches, they are conservative evangelical churches -- including some Christian churches (click here for an ongoing discussion about this). If Wayne Smith were dead, he would be rolling over in his grave.

I agree with my friend David Willis who says that this is the inevitable consequence of abandoning the emphasis on “the first day of the week.” The fact that secular news agencies have picked up on this story demonstrates just how whacked-out it is. Even the world recognizes that canceling is rather strange. Christmas isn’t even the issue with me – it’s the idea of blowing off worship on the Lord’s Day – although the fact that it’s Christmas makes it even more ironic. Can canceling on Mothers’ Day, Father’s Day, or even Easter be far behind?

My father-in-law had a classic response to one of his church members who inquired about worship on Dec. 25. He said, “Well I would hope that at least the CHRISTIANS will be here.”
Please, this isn’t about inconveniencing people in order to test their orthodoxy or their allegiance to Christ. It’s about the fact that many believers actually WANT to worship on that day, EVERY WEEK, and especially on Christmas.

Ben Witherington has a good post about this. And the Get Religion blog weighs in as well.

Truth is stranger than fiction. Granted, I have no idea what it is like to lead a church of thousands, but still... I have to wonder if whatever they think they have "gained" by not having Christmas service (family time, a break for volunteers, etc.) is not going to be far outweighed by the negative press, etc.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

They Don't Make Them Like They Used To

Last night I watched Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town with my kids. I don't know what is is about the old shows, but I think they are simply better than the new ones (even with the cheesy graphics and such). It's probably because these shows remind me of my childhood.

I still love The Year Without a Santa Claus (Snow Miser and Heat Miser seemed really scary when I was little, yet somehow they were still really cool).

I read in this morning's paper that A Charlie Brown Christmas turns 40 this year. So this show has literally been a part of every Christmas of my life.

Although it is much newer than the films listed above, Prancer has become a family favorite. It was filmed in my hometown (Three Oaks, MI), so it's fun to see the local landmarks. Even though I've seen in a dozen times, I still get verklempt when Sam Elliott reads "Yes, Virginia..." to his daughter.

But the perennial favorite is still Christmas Vacation.